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Comedy/murder mystery at Playreaders

By Michael Gottlieb

The Psychic by Sam Bobrick careens into Playreaders this week at St. Paul’s Church. The Psychic is a contemporary, film-noir style detective story but the detective in this case is a flailing writer of pulp fiction, who fakes his psychic abilities and becomes entangled in a roller coaster of events. Bobrick is a veteran TV/film writer whose credits range from “The Andy Griffith Show” to “Get Smart” to “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.” He retired from Hollywood in 1990 to devote his retirement to writing plays. His retirement has been prolific, as Bobrick has written more than 30 plays, including Norman is that You? and Last Chance Romance.

Playreading: The Psychic. Tue, Wed & Thu, Jan 3, 4 & 5, 7:30pm. St. Paul’s Church, Cardo 6. 20 pesos

Bobrick’s most recent effort, The Psychic, was hailed by critics in 2010 as “…devilishly clever, hilarious, brilliant and surprising,” It’s a love-story, murder-mystery, but above all, a comedy. It’s the story of Adam Webster, a struggling writer, who hangs a shingle as a psychic to pay his bills. In off the street walks the sultry Laura Benson who wants the psychic to tell her things about herself she already knows. Adam, in a flash of inspiration, tells Laura her husband is about to murder her. And thus begins the march of mayhem: Laura’s husband Roy, a duplicitous, debt-ridden gambler, his girlfriend, Rita, a gun moll with a heart of gold, her lover, Johnny Bubbles, a debt-collecting gangster and NYPD Detective Norris Coslow who is tracking down all of the above as each meets his and her demise in a mash-up of The Big Sleep and Six Characters in Search of an Author.

The Psychic is a murder farce. The plot is filled with many humorous, suspenseful, unexpected twists and turns, very characteristic of Bobrick’s previous works.

This 706th Playreaders production is directed by Michael Gottlieb and features the wonderful talents of these Playreaders favorites: Kate Lowenstein, Joseph Bennett, Eli Hans, Debra Bigge, and Jim Newell. Dic Simandl handles lights and sound. The performance starts at 7:30pm or earlier if the house is full. The doors open at 7pm.

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